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95 per cent licences of Pakistan pilots serving in 7 countries cleared

Filed on July 11, 2020 | Last updated on July 11, 2020 at 01.38 pm
Pakistan, PIA, pilots
PIA has sacked 17 pilots for having 'dubious' flying licences on the order of the government.

(Reuters file)

The process of verification of pilots' licences will be completed next week

Pakistan's Aviation Division has cleared 95 per cent licences of Pakistani pilots serving in different airlines in seven countries, while the process of verification of the remaining will be completed next week, the media reported.

The issue of 'dubious' licences drew world attention after Pakistan's Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan revealed in the National Assembly that there were 860 active pilots in the country and 260 of them had not sat their exams themselves and almost 30 per cent of the pilots had fake or improper licence and did not have flying experience, Dawn News reported.

Shortly afterwards, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) grounded 107 pilots suspected of having fake licences and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) started verification of their licences.

Khan also announced that five senior officials of the CAA had been sacked over the scandal and they could be prosecuted.

The issue also caught the attention of other countries and airlines where Pakistani pilots were employed.

The countries which grounded the Pakistani pilots and asked Pakistan's Aviation Division to verify their credentials included the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey and Bahrain.

On Friday, Ethiopia also asked the Pakistan government to verify the licences of Pakistani pilots serving there.

The European Union Air Safety Agency has also announced suspension of PIA authorisation for six months.

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